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FAQ – School

We intend taking pupils on a trip using a mini-bus.  What is the law about seatbelts in mini-buses and what advice would you give?

Passengers sitting in the front seats, and any exposed seat, MUST use the seat belts that are provided. If children are  sitting in these seats, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that:

  • Children under 3 years of age use an appropriate child restraint.
  • Children aged between 3 and 11 years, and under 1.5 metres tall use an appropriate child restraint if available, or if not available, wear the seat belt.
  • Children aged 12 and 13 years (and younger children who are 1.5 metres or taller) use the seat belt.
  • Passengers aged 14 years  or more MUST wear a seat belt and are personally responsible for doing so.

Passengers sitting in the rear of mini-buses that have an unladen weight of 2,540 kg or less must wear the seat belts that are provided. The law does not require passengers in the rear of larger mini-buses (over 2,540 kg) to wear seat belts, but we would advise all passengers to wear seat belts on all journeys.

See the RoSPA website and Think website for more information.

My son has passed his Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) but I’m still worried about him riding his moped in today’s traffic, what can I do?

Our Young Riders page will be able to with further advice and guidance.

My daughter wants to walk to school with her friends but I’m worried about her safety, what can I do?

Walking to school is sociable, good for health and means that fewer cars are involved in the school run.  To ensure your daughter’s safety, walk the route with her in the holidays or at the weekend. Make sure that she knows where to take extra care and that the route makes use of controlled crossings where possible. Remind her to concentrate on the road and not to get distracted by friends.

I know a family who don’t strap their children in the car properly, I don’t want to get the parent into trouble but I’m worried about the children’s safety, what can I do?

The other parent could be fined for not making sure that their children are using seat belts and child restraints. Even worse, one of the children could be badly injured. Try to talk to the family, explain how important it is that everyone in the car wears their seat belt for every journey.

Drivers are parking on my local schools yellow zigzag lines, what can I do?

Parking in this way is inconsiderate as it means that pedestrians do not have a clear view of the road in order to cross.  Unfortunately, the culprits are often the parents themselves, so if you can, speak to the Head Teacher at the school and he or she can get a message out to drivers.  We have leaflets about this issue which are free and the school can request them from Gloucestershire Road Safety Team.

I’m worried about the walking route to my child’s school, what can I do?

Walk the route with your child, talk to your child about the difficult roads – could you change the route slightly to make better use of controlled crossings?  If you and others feel that inappropriate speed is an issue, you could consider a Community Speedwatch Campaign.  You could contact Gloucestershire Highways to see whether any action can be taken to encourage drivers to slow down, or whether certain crossing points could be made easier for pedestrians.

Our regular School Crossing Patrol is going to be absent for some time for medical reasons – is there someone who can stand in for her/him?

GCC doesn’t have Relief Patrols who can work at any site, however, several schools have a Relief Patrol, trained to work at a school’s specific site. This person, employed by the school as a casual member of staff,  is then available to work if the permanent Patrol is unavailable).

Q&A for pre-school children:

What are the most important messages for this age group?

The most important messages are as follows:

  • A young child must always hold hands with a grown-up near the road.
  • Always use a car seat.
  • Stop, look and listen every time you cross a road.

What are the rules about car seats for children?

View this Dept. for Transport page for more details on the law regarding the use of car seats.

Q&A for infant school children:

What are the most important messages for this age group?

The most important messages are as follows:

  • A young child must hold hands with a grown-up or carer near the road.
  • Always use a car seat.
  • Stop, look and listen every time you cross a road.

What are the rules about car seats for children?

View this Dept. for Transport page for more details on the law regarding the use of car seats.

What can I do to help my child with Road Safety?

Check out the THINK! site for more information on keeping your child safe.

Q&A for junior school children:

What are the most important messages for this age group?

Children aged 7-11 are becoming more independent but you (the parent or carer) are the person who knows them well enough to say when they are ready to make journeys on their own.

My child thinks that he/she doesn’t need a child car seat any more. What are the rules about car  seats for children?

When a child is taller than 135 cm (or 12 years old) they can use the adult seat belt and do not need a child car seat. Link to DfT site.

How do I get cycle training for my child?

The national Bikeability training is delivered by us in local schools. Click here for more information about how to get you child trained.

What can I do to help my child prepare for the change to secondary school?

The move up to secondary school may mean a very different journey and you can help by planning and preparing for this by clicking here.

Check out the new new journey leaflet here.

Q&A for secondary school children:

What are the most important messages for this age group?

The riskiest time in a person’s life as a road user is from age 11 to 15.  So, keep talking with your child about their world and support their journeys by foot, bicycle or in another’s car with good simple advice about how to reduce risk and enjoy life.

My child won’t wear his/her seatbelt when he/she is in their friend’s car – what can I do?

It’s the law to wear a seatbelt, so you or your child (over 14) may be fined.  Explain to them that the risk of dying in a crash doubles for unrestrained occupants. Then simply tell them that you’re not going anywhere until everyone is belted up.

My child wants to cycle to school but I’m worried – what can I do?

Sign them on to an advanced cycling course. For under 15s, go here for more information, and for anyone over 15, click here to find out more.

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